Here's some surprising statistics: approximately 50% of all roofing structures on residential buildings are replaced because of how they look, and has nothing to do with their functionality. The primary concern that most homeowners with asphalt roofing have is with the mold and the mildew that may have begun to grow or may even have spread on the vinyl siding. More often than not, the mold and the mildew do not pose any type of health hazard to occupants within the home, and the roofing merely needs to be cleaned rather than replaced. Here's how.
Using Chemical Cleaners to Remove the Algae or Moss
Chemical cleaners are generally the most effective. Most cleaning experts recommend getting your roofing power washed every other year. Repeated use of harsh chemicals can harm your roofing structure, and your shingles, so it's best to opt for gentler and milder chemical cleaners. You will basically have three options to choose from: a mixture of trisodium phosphate, water and bleach, oxygen bleach or chlorine bleach. Oxygen bleach can help lighten the stains, and is typically the least harmful option for the environment; however, it takes time for the effects to be seen. The trisodium phosphate mixture offers a moderate approach while the chlorine bleach route is most effective.
The mixture that is chosen will need to be sprayed using a low-pressure power washer. Keep in mind that the asphalt shingles are extremely fragile. A high-power pressure washer may end up cracking the asphalt and causing more damage. In addition, clean the roofs on a cloudy day. Why? On a cloudy day, the cleaning solution will not evaporate as quickly; thus, allowing time for the chemical agents within to work its magic on both the stains and on the microbes themselves. The chemical cleaners should be left on the roofing for some time before getting washed off with water. There really is no set time. Just wait to see when the stains begin to lighten or disappear.
Understanding the Safety Procedures Involved
Most homeowners will typically reserve all roofing repairs to professionals due to the fact that working on the roof does come with some safety hazards and risks. According to recent statistics, a worker falls off of a roof almost every week, and there are about 40 fatalities reported each year. If you insist on attempting the task alone, consider the following:
- wear slip-resistant footwear that possess a good grip.
- use a safety rope whenever necessary.
- avoid working on steep roofs.
In addition, depending on the chemical agent that is used, you should also consider wearing protective eyewear and other safety equipment to prevent contact to the skin. You should also highly consider purchasing insurance to make sure that you are covered in the event that anything unfortunate happens.
Preventing Algae Growth
Cleaning and removing the algae that has accumulated on the roof is not only a hassle, but also a hazard. Depending on where you reside, the algae can easily regrow within a short period of time. Your best solution is to prevent algae growth entirely by installing a metal strip underneath. How does this work? The zinc coating on galvanized sheet metal is toxic to the algae and moss. It's basically the best deterrent on the market. Copper is the most effective, as it is the most toxic.
Simply, attach narrow strips of metal directly onto your roof with nails or screws. Make sure that the metal is held firmly in place and can tolerate the wear and the weather elements. Some roofing contractors recommend slipping longer strips of metal underneath the shingles for increased effectiveness.
If you see black spots or stains on your roof, don't fret just yet. Chances are, the issue that you are dealing with can be quickly resolved with some simple cleaning. If the stains or algae cannot be easily removed, perhaps only a section of the roofing needs to be replaced, and not the entire thing. Speak with a roof repairs contractor immediately in order to obtain a visual inspection and an estimate of what it would cost for you to restore your roof back to its original condition.